Activities

Saami culture

Real Saami villages

Slow down in a Saami village

For centuries in Teno river valley, the life was based on a barter economy. Fishermen, hunters and farmers bartered their catch and quarry, agricultural products and reindeer meat by the riverside. The Arctic Ocean was the obvious direction for trading.

The nomadic Reindeer Saami lived their lives following the age-old cycle of the reindeer. In April and May, they would accompany their reindeer herds to the calving areas by the shores of the Kalddas and Polmak rivers. When autumn came, the reindeer and the people would return to the winter grazing areas.

In the period from 1960 to 1980, the traditional sources of livelihood of the Saami people were radically changed by the market economy. Snowmobiles, mobile phones and radar collars came into the picture. Petteri admits that adapting to the new circumstances has been a challenge, because new methods and practices are constantly being introduced, and people simply do not have enough time to properly adjust to any of them. Despite everything, reindeer husbandry remains an important source of livelihood to this day.

The Saami villages of Utsjoki offer you an opportunity to experience modern, everyday Saami culture: a culture you can live, see, hear, taste and feel. Utsjoki is a place where the traditional Saami costume is still worn at a
number of festivals and events.

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